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FILMS Italy

Educazione siberiana, a criminal comedy by Salvatores

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- The adaptation of Nicolai Lilin’s novel by the Oscar-winning director comes out in 350 movie theatres. John Malkovich among its stars

Educazione siberiana, a criminal comedy by Salvatores

"Others have fun in life, us Siberians we fight it.” These are the words of the honest criminals featured in Educazione siberiana [+see also:
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interview: John Malkovich
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]
, a €9 million film by Gabriele Salvatores, coming out in 350 movie theatres this Thursday with 01.

Based on the novel by the same name - a loose interpretation of Russian Nicolai Lilin’s biography - the film is shot in English, with a non-Italian cast. The film stars John Malkovich and two Lithuanians in their film debut, as well as young American Eleanor Tomlinson. It is Salvatores’ first international experience. “You need to get out of the security of your own shell. I learned more from this film than from any of the ones before,” the director explained.

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Rulli and Petraglia’s joint screenplay tames the harshness of the novel and concentrates on the friendship between the two main characters, skipping backwards and forwards between the period of 1985 and 1995 with the fall of the Berlin wall in the middle. Fascinated by the change in time period and the difficulties in trying to become greater, the Oscar-winning director (for Mediterraneo in 1992) focuses on the dynamics of groups versus individuals, to the detriment of the rest. There are two memorable sequences. The first is less well done: a piano going down a river. The second, however, is worth paying for the ticket: a hustle in the snow in which the two young main characters let themselves go in a moment of innocence and joy, all to the sound of Absolute Beginners by David Bowie.

In a film sought out by producer Cattleya, Salvatores seems to have given up on his powerful expressiveness and artistic independence, which have always characterised him. Its making was not without hiccoughs. After a test with an audience in London, the production team decided to shoot a different finale. “We are trying to make films with the world in mind, not just Italy,” Paolo Del Brocco explained to Rai Cinema, which coproduced. The inspiration being Paolo Sorrentino’s This Must Be the Place [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
film profile
]
 and Giuseppe Tornatore’s The Best Offer [+see also:
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trailer
film profile
]
.  Salvatores’ next film will be a European and British production and will be filmed in Ireland.   

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(Translated from Italian)

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